At Drag Queen Premiere, A Shade of Politics
BY Daniel Reynolds
October 17 2012 11:30 AM ET
Above: Latrice works up the crowd.
For fans of Drag Race, the names of these Avengers are legendary: Nina Flowers, Shannel, Tammie Brown, Raven, Jujubee, Pandora Boxx, Manila Luzon, Alexis Mateo, Yara Sofia, Mimi Imfurst, Chad Michaels, and Latrice Royale. Together, they’re a powerhouse of drag that spans factions and genres, a tapestry of age, race, ethnicity, and regional diversity. Any would make a worthy champion. According to RuPaul, this is exactly what the show intended.
And then there were those who didn’t make the cut. Willam Belli camped out on the red carpet for several hours, signing autographs and passing out star-shaped stickers stamped with his likeness.
“I am sober tonight,” confided Belli, whose rendezvous with a boyfriend resulted in his disqualification during season 4. “I am trying to rein in my personality because people think I’m a wild child. I don’t know why I’m not on All Stars. People think it’s because I’m difficult to work with or I won’t follow the rules. So I’m just trying to be a team player.” Across the patio, a man yelled that he could see up Belli’s dress.
“Bitch, there’s an attached panty,” he pointed out. “I don’t care. It’s Leger!”
As West Hollywood previewed the upcoming Drag Race, another fierce competition raged across the country: the presidential debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. Even in the Los Angeles limelight, the specter of politics threw its shade.
“I think regular politics is a stupid bore,” RuPaul said. “Politicians say things to get people to vote for them, so they can get into office and have power. But they don’t believe what they’re saying. Even when they say it, they don’t believe it. I don’t have time for that. I vote, but I don’t take any of that bullshit seriously.”
He added, “I think once you decide to follow your heart ... that’s the most political thing you could ever do in your life.”